The health service belongs to and is free to us all. The very fact of public ownership makes it directly accountable to us, its users. Take the assets into private hands and at a stroke, priorities change, from delivery to dividends. Once control passes to investors, these can decide on pricing, location, frequency, quality and scope of services.
Social media has started to undermine the importance of scientific evidence, with people instead reporting hearsay and personal anecdotes as “proof” of whatever opinion or belief they are Tweeting or blogging about. But this is not evidence… Professor of Biochemistry Louise Serpell examines the dangers of scientific misinformation and advises on ways we can all learn to separate scientific fact from fiction…
While nurses are offered a 1 per cent pay rise, multi-million pound Covid-related contracts have been awarded to “friends” of the government, often secretly and without going out to tender. Viv Griffiths reveals the cost of some of this cronyism and how it is being successfully challenged in the courts and even by the UK’s medicine agency (MHRA).
The pandemic shows the value of key workers, such as hospital staff, to our society. But will chancellor Rishi Sunak recognise this in the Budget?
Captain Sir Tom Moore, 99, raised over £32 million for the NHS by walking around his garden. But he should not have had to do this. When he died, at the age of 100, Boris Johnson asked us to clap for him. Sir Tom’s marvellous effort was hijacked by the government to distract attention from the deaths of more than 120,000 people.
The dreaded second wave of coronavirus needn’t be like the first. One of the most astounding features of human character is the ability to learn, quickly, if needed. Ten months since the UK’s first confirmed coronavirus case is plenty of time to have learnt what does and doesnt work in managing a pandemic.
Next week MPs will decide whether or not to back crucial Lords’ amendments to the government’s Trade Bill. If these amendments are not passed, the health service will be treated like any business – its profitable parts privatised and its data (our data) sold to the highest bidder.